See how they grow--ages six to ten
Before you know it, your toddler will grow up and enter primary school. From age 6 to 10, watch your child grow at an exponential rate and marvel at their rapid growth and development.
The elementary grade years are full of wild and crazy fun and adventure. Little league sports, music lessons, ballet recitals, sleep-overs, school projects, playing in the back yard, learning to go off the diving board, birthday parties and everything else that makes up the magic of being a child. Isn’t it wonderful!
Yes, it is, but it’s also busy. With all that fun and excitement there also comes the stresses of helping them learn, teaching them to be responsible, respectful and obedient. These are the years when they develop character and their moral compass is searching for direction. You may be done with diapers and time-outs for not sharing, but as you enter into this next phase of parenting, you may recall those days as a walk in the park.
From age 6 to 10, the physical growth of a child is basically related to their weight and height. And as many children as there are in a room, that’s how many different sizes of children you’ll see. A child’s height and weight are determined by a number of factors including genetics, diet, amount of activity they get and bone structure. Their physical health can also play a role.
While it is neither fair nor necessary to prohibit a child from enjoying candy and the occasional junk food snacks, you need to make sure your child’s diet is a natural and healthy one. Not only is this most advantageous to their health, but to their weight and ability to be active.
Balance and coordination also become more fine-tuned during this time period. But they also fine-tune in their own sweet time. They should be able to ride a bike, hit a ball with a bat, skate and other similar activities that require balance and coordination. NOTE: These things take practice and a child shouldn’t be expected to ‘get it’ right from the start.
By the time some children reach age 10, they will begin to exhibit signs of puberty. Again…not all children do. Just watch for signs such as underarm and pubic hair growth, body odor, breast development, acne and mood swings.
Language and learning skills
The 6 -year-old should be able to express him/her self verbally, use language properly and have an ever-increasing vocabulary. They will be able to read simple books and recall what they read. Writing sentences should also be mastered by this age. Moving forward, the 7-8 year old will be able to read for pleasure and write simple paragraphs. They can also read and follow instructions to complete school work, play games or perform chores at home. By age 10, a child’s language skills are quite extensive. Their vocabulary is large, they know the basic parts of speech, can construct book reports or other reports after reading information on the subject and can read larger chapter books for pleasure.
The 6-10 year old is having lots thrown their way from an educational standpoint. It will not be uncommon for them to become frustrated and overwhelmed. Be patient and take the time to work with them at their speed in the way they learn best. Don’t lose patience or hope-they’ll learn to multiply, divide, conjugate sentences, do fractions, memorize the continents…whatever.
Children in the 6-10 age range have tons of energy and need to be encouraged to expend it in all the ways children like to play. The 6 year old can run, hop, skip, jump, run backwards, learn more advanced swimming and dance movements and can participate in gymnastics and non-contact sports. By age 10, they will be able to advance to more complex levels of activities they are already involved in and will have developed more endurance and longer attention spans.
Children in this age category will have no problem doing arts and crafts projects involving a number of different materials and are willing and able to help with cooking, gardening and yard work. The youngest in this age group will need to be shown patience while learning to fold laundry, rake leaves, sew on a button or mixing up cookie dough, but don’t dissuade them. They are eager to please by doing.
Social, mental and emotional skills
The 6 and 7 year old will still play with just about anyone-friendships with those they most closely assimilate with aren’t quite in their sphere of thinking. By the time they are on the back end of 7, however, they will begin to steer toward same-sex playmates. The 8-9 year old realizes there are children who are more like them than others-causing deeper friendships to be forged. By age 10, girls begin to form groups and cliques. Boys see no need of this and live with ‘the more the merrier’ (or the better chance we’ll have enough for a game) mentality.
Children this age solve problems with words rather than aggression (usually) and will solve issues more quickly if left to their own device rather than getting adult intervention (except in extreme circumstances).
A child’s sense of humor will become more prominent at this stage in life, as will their interests in different activities. It’s at this point your child will begin to explore and find their niche. Encourage this and don’t put them in a mold or a box. Let their uniqueness come to light.
You’ll need to take advantage of the fact that your 6-10 year old loves to please you and will go to great lengths to do so. By taking the time to teach them how to be responsible and to complete household chores now, you are giving them valuable life-skills that will take them all the way through life. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Your 6-10 year old is fun and enjoyable. Don’t let this time pass you by.